Roll Your Sleeves Up
Newcomers and seventh-generation winemakers alike mix and mingle, the established rub shoulders with the new and ideas and new varieties are trialled, building on the wisdom of the past. As long as there’s wine, there’ll be a smile in Rutherglen.
Vintage happens in autumn and is a special time of year for our winemakers when all the work in the vineyards comes to fruition. As pickers dodge weather and hand-picked grapes are delivered, it's now up to the winemaker to ensure the year's toil is worked into a stunning example of Rutherglen's finest drops.
Who You Can Meet
The youngest daughter of Andrew Sutherland Smith, Amy had the good fortune of growing up with wine in her veins and a vineyard for a playground. Today she occupies the roles of General Manager and Winemaker alongside her father in the cellar, where their family tradition continues into its sixth generation.
Valhalla Wines is a singular winemaker. From the hay bale winery to the traditional approach, Anton Therkidsen likes to take things slow – hand plunging, basket pressing, minimal fining and filtration – complexity is achieved through small-batch fermentation and careful selection of oak.
Damien Cofield is the second generation of Cofield Wines. With his family and team he has overseen the transition of their property into an organic farm. Maker of excellent sparkling, their range now includes rose, riesling and sangiovese as perfect compliments to their warm climate vines.
David Morris is one of the most awarded winemakers in Australia and his work with the Morris fortified and sparkling range has resulted in over 200 medals, including 80 gold. James Halliday of Wine companion says that “these Rutherglen fortified wines have no equivalent in any other part of the world.”
David Whyte’s invaluable expertise has pushed Buller Wines to new heights establishing the vineyard as a James Halliday Five Star winery. David’s knowledge and history has solidified Buller Wines fortifieds on the world stage while also creating sparkling and approachable, award-winning wines too.
Howard Anderson has 50 years of experience making sparkling wines and while the vineyard now takes in multiple varieties, it is sparkling that he always returns to. Joined by his daughter Christobelle, Anderson is now a two generational winery crafting small batch wines exclusively with their own fruit.
Jen and her winemaker father Chris embrace the diversity of the much-loved Rutherglen region to produce premium wines, in the pursuit of excellence across all styles. This is evident in their range, from dry, crisp Riesling, to light and gorgeous Gamay; from innovative rose liqueur wine – the Seriously Pink; to powerful Rutherglen reds and the unsurpassed richness of their special fortified wines.
Youngest daughter and fifth-generation Campbell, Julie, is the winemaker and custodian of the iconic Campbell’s style. “Wine is in our blood; we’ve grown up with it. We live it, breathe it and love it.” Jules has a hands on approach and an uncompromising commitment to quality.
Lennie Lister is bringing an old vineyard back. The old vines and trees are still producing and he selects fruit typical of the region releasing small batches of excellent wines every season. Lennie selects fruit typical of the region, releasing small batches of excellent wines using Durif and old vine Shiraz.
Brother-sister combo Mandy and Arthur Jones share the load at Jones Winery, but Mandy’s extensive international experience, particularly in the Bordeaux region of France has given Jones Winery and Vineyard a step up and matches the spectacular fruit Arthur is growing.
Marco Scalzo of De Bortoli Wines, Rutherglen sees winemaking as the fusion of talent and technology. With a company such as De Bortoli he is able to produce excellent regional examples like Durif and Shiraz while retaining the ability to experiment and trial new varieties to push the brand and business in new and interesting ways.
Michael and Joel Chambers push the Lake Moodemere Estate into its seventh generation of Rutherglen farmers. With respect for history the Chambers acknowledge their depth and experience but aren’t bound by it, growing varieties that respect the local terrain but also push the region in new and interesting ways.
Stanton and Killeen is now led by the mother-daughter team of Wendy and Natasha Killeen – descendants of the original owners. Under the guidance of Natasha, Stanton and Killeen are producing interesting and complex wines suitable to the Rutherglen microclimate, recently introducing Portuguese varieties to great acclaim.
Ross and Harry Perry, father and son team of winemakers at Olive Hills Estate. Ross enjoys producing traditional and character driven wines, which enhance the estate grown grapes rich and complex flavour. Harry brings new ideas and styles to the team and has started the Climb The Tower range.
Ross Gehrig is the son of John Gehrig and he continues the family legacy by not only producing the styles and wines his father once did, but also his own range of high-end, big and flavourful under the ‘RG’ label. Only produced when the fruit is perfect and the time is right, this collection is worth waiting for.
One of Rutherglen’s most contemporary winemakers, Rowly’s vision is to grow and produce premium wines that are modern, dynamic and unbound by tradition. His winemaking style reflects the way we eat and socialise in modern Australia, with an elegance inspired by France and good food.
In Rutherglen the name Killeen carries with it some history and Simon makes this the seventh generation of the family to make wine. Rather than operating under that weight his small label, Simao and Co, nods to both his time in Portugal and respect for the Portuguese grapes he has worked with and the vines his father planted in the 90s.
Stephen Chambers is part of the legend that is Rosewood Chambers. As they continue their innings as the oldest winery of the region and maker of excellent wines and fortifieds – some of the best in the field – their approachability and relaxed attitude make the Chambers a special breed.